Parents, students and staff in Conway Public Schools currently have the opportunity to make their voices heard through the annual PanoramaED school culture survey now through April 20.
Communication Specialist Heather Kendrick said the district has been taking part in this survey for three years which basically asks those participating how they feel about their school.
Kendrick said she has taken the survey, which takes less than 10 minutes with about 30 questions, and one that stood out to her was about school safety, a topic they’ve been dealing with a lot lately.
She said the parent survey asked her if she felt like her child was safe at school and another asked how often she visited the campus.
That first year they did the survey, Kendrick said, she recalls getting around a 30 percent parent response, which felt low, but after talking to PanoramaEd, realized that was good for that demographic.
“It is harder to get parent feedback because they are not a captive audience,” she said. “Parents are a little bit trickier but we have been pleased with the response we’ve been getting from parents.”
How they’ve marketed the survey — they send notifications out through Facebook, email, and more — hasn’t changed but Kendrick said it was important to note that the survey goes out from PanoramaEd directly, not Conway.
“We don’t see any of the data,” she said. “We just get the number and the results from Panorama, so, it’s completely anonymous.”
The surveys are not fill in the blank but instead, give several different option answers that might include: very often, often, not applicable, not very often, never or strongly agree, agree, not applicable, disagree, strongly disagree.
Kendrick said it doesn’t take the company long to turn the results back to Conway, which usually gets them in the summer.
From there, she said, the district is able to analyze the information, which is broken up by schools, and pull a few district-wide and school-wide goals out.
“They usually pick out a couple of things that stand out and they choose a couple of specifics to work on then in that building and we, at the district, in the next school year,” Kendrick said.
She said one thing that stands out from last year was from the staff survey.
Kendrick said the information from the employees revealed that employees were desiring more teacher feedback and from that, they were able to apply that request and implement additional feedback procedures and plans for principals with their teachers through classroom walk throughs and more.
She said the idea to get involved with PanoramaEd came from the administration leadership team who wanted to know, as they looked at establishing the district’s core values, how people felt about Conway Public Schools.
“How our staff felt, how our parents felt, how our students felt and wanting to get a real picture of what that was like and this gives them a way to anonymously evaluate that,” Kendrick said.
While this is not a fill in the blank type of survey, she said, it still gives the Conway Public Schools community a way to voice concerns and give input, both positive and negative.
“This probably takes less than five minutes,” Kendrick said. “We really do look at the data and so every parent that fills it out is one more voice.”